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DIY reupholstered wingback chair {before & after}

Today I am sharing our DIY reupholstered wingback chair with you. I feel like it’s been forever since I posted a project. Do you ever feel like some things just take you twice as long as they should? I have to admit, part of my problem is that I usually have 3 or 4 projects going on at once. I have been in a funk though for the past couple weeks, not feeling very crafty or motivated.

bright patterned reupholstered wingback chair

Photo curtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

UPDATE: This reupholstered wingback chair recently made it’s way into the January 2013 Woman’s Day Magazine issue along with our kitchen and dining room makeover.

Here is the before picture with the original primitive patterned fabric.

primitive upholstery

I have come so close to selling this chair (and the other matching one) so many times for a fraction of what I paid for them. My first house I bought was a 250 year old farm house and I loved primitive and very rustic decor. Thirteen years ago, this was my favorite purchase ever! Now, my tastes have changed and I am so glad I never got rid of these chairs. Look what you can do with some fabric, a powered staple gun and four hours!

IMAN samoen plantation fabric, DIY, reupholstered

The fabric is Samoen Plantation, Gem by Iman.

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric

I love the bold colors and how bright the chair now looks. I had a professional give me a quote of almost $750 to reupholster each chair. WHAAAA! I said, no thank you. The fabric was not cheap at $25/yard and I bought 8 yards. This chair used just about 7 yards. I tell ya what though, mine is not perfect but I will go with my reupholstered version any day over $750 a chair! Be sure to check out the full tutorial + video of how I reupholstered this chair here.

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric

Did you know that you can double fold the ends to achieve a “seamed” look?

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric, IMAN

I did this because I still need to determine my drape fabric so I wasn’t sure which color piping to go with. Creating a seamed look allows the chair to look finished while I get my act together and make some piping. This is only my second reupholster attempt, the sawzalled couch being my first, so I am by no means an expert. Wondering how I did this? You find the full tutorial + video here.

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Responses to DIY reupholstered wingback chair {before & after}

  1. Soly May 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    you are amazing!
    how do you do it? it looks better than a professional job! i “tried” that once…the chair looked like it was super glued together…. even the couch you sawed in half was amazing!!!!!

    • Jessica May 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

      Thank you so much :) You are funny!

  2. Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers May 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    It looks awesome! I have yet to tackle a major reupholster project, you just inspired me :)

    • Jessica May 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

      Thanks Taryn! Can’t wait to see yours :)

  3. Jessie @ Imperfectly Polished May 21, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    It’s gorgeous!!!!! I love that fabric. You did an awesome job!

    • Jessica May 21, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks Jessie!

  4. Kim @ Sand & Sisal May 21, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    I really need to try out reupholstering a few things, but I’m terrified! You chair turned out beautiful!

    • Jessica May 21, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Thank you! Don’t be a chicken, you can do it :)

  5. Ceclia May 21, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Love the chair I would love to see the video becauseI have a chairjust like it and I want to re-do it.
    Don’t worry about how you sound we are all friends.

    • Jessica May 21, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks Ceclia! I need to figure out how to post to youtube and edit. I’m working on it :)

  6. Becki May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Your chair is gorgeous! Love the fabric and I think you did a great job of upholstering!

    • Jessica May 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks Becki!

  7. Jessica May 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Thank you !

  8. Bobbie May 23, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Wow! You did a great job on the wingback chair. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to jump in and tackle a job. Confidence that’s you. Makes me want to jump also, thanks for the inspiration. Bobbie

    • Jessica May 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      awww thanks Bobbie for your sweet comment :)

  9. Rhoda @ Southern hospitality May 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    WOW, Jessica!! I can’t believe what a great job you did on that. I wouldn’t know where to start on upholstering a chair. It looks SUPER. Really, really great. Pretty fabric. I need to learn how to do this. Maybe that Haven class will help me too. :)

    • Jessica May 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Celebrity alert! hehe. Miss Rhoda is in the house! You can do it Rhoda, practice on an old chair you don’t care about :) You must have chairs to reupholster in that fab new house you are renovating. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  10. Barbara May 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Only your second upholstery project? You have got to be kidding!? I’d love to see the video…dork or no dork! Great job!

    • Jessica May 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      You are funny Barbara :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. Heather May 24, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Nice job! I doubt that I will EVER do that! :)

    • Jessica May 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      haha Thanks Heather :)

  12. Ali Thompson May 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    first time on your blog & so glad i stopped by. this is the inspiration i needed to recover our chair that my sweet pup destroyed. thankfully it’s just the fabric that was damaged! can’t wait to give this a go!
    thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica May 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Thank you Ali! So glad you stopped by and good luck with your chair :)

  13. Misti @ Living on Cypress Hill May 29, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    I love that fabric!! And great job! It looks awesome!

    • Jessica May 31, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      Thanks Misti! I ordered black & white stripe fabric for the drapes and hoping it coordinates ok :)

  14. Angela May 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    I LOVE it! I attempted (and failed) to reupholster a wing back chair just recently and it was a disaster! You could totally tell that I stapled and glued it all.

    • Jessica May 31, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      Thanks Angela. Try again, I bet it wasn’t as bad as you think it was :) We are always harder on ourselves!

  15. katie June 8, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    WOW–this is an amazing revamp! I love the choice of the fabric. You did a spectacular job tailoring the wing back chair, too!

    • Jessica June 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Thank you Katie!

  16. shelly June 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Hi there,
    I was in love with the job you did on your chair… I have TWO just like yours and was about to SELL them both… would you mind sharing HOW you did the job with me??? You can email me the video so I can see how you created the lovely job. My email addy is shelly504@me.com I hope to hear from you SOON I am ready to get mine started!!! thanks again JOB WELL DONE!!! >>>Shelly

  17. Grant July 13, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Did you ever find a place to upload the video to? YouTube or your site? I am interested in seeing it since I am going to be doing a similar project for our nursery soon. Thanks!

    • Jessica July 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      I did figure out how to use my movie editor but the video I took was so dark and the sound was off. I have no idea why. I am hoping to do another one soon and this time I will make sure my settings are correct on the camera. I finally figured out how to use it for pictures and now I guess it’s time to work on the video part. :)

  18. Melissa October 23, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Hello Jessica

    I think your chair came out Beautiful!!! I have a wing chair that i have a sure fit cover one and keep thinking about reupholstering it myself but soo scared to try.Any suggestions on how to get started?


    • Nancy@ArtsyChicksRule November 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      I had to look closely to realize that it was not piping! I thought it was. That is a great tip. I have only done recovering of chairs. That’s easy! Never tried anything like this! I may have to. 😉

      I am a new follower! I love your home and the fact that you all live and work together. Very cool really.

      • Jessica Bruno November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

        Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for stopping by and I’m glad you like the upholstered chair :) Good luck with your project!

  19. Maura December 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Wow!!! I am totally in love with what you did here!!!

    I recently scored 2 Broyhill wing back armchairs in Ivory from an owner who is moving away and did not want to take them to her new small apartment.
    I have never done re-upholstery before and worst yet for 2 chairs!!! I am surely going in BIG!!

    I was wondering, Do you have an actual tutorial for this project???


    • Jessica Bruno December 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

      Thank you Maura! I don’t have a tutorial yet but I hope to have it on the blog soon.

  20. grace January 3, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Jessica, just found your site and saw this post. Amazing job!! Love the new fabric, really made the chair looks so much prettier and very attractive (and happy in the same time). Do you think you will be able to do “step-by-step” instructions? 4 hr job is not bad at all …. I got a wing chair that is waited to for some make over but I don’t know how to do it :-) Happy New Year!

    • Jessica Bruno January 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi, the tutorial is coming one of these days. I lost all my pictures on my old computer due to the computer crashing so I only have the videos left so one of these days I need to figure out how to take pictures from the video. I’m glad you liked the chair :) You just motivated me to get the tutorial done. Thank you!

  21. Ms. L.A. March 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Hello…I am a D.I.Y newbie and I have been creatively inspired by so many successful attempts by others to makeover furniture and things. Do you have a step-by-step tutorial on how you re-upped this chair? I seen a nice wing back chair on Craigslist for only $25 and would love to re it up if I knew how. Any response is greatly appreciated…..And your chair looks amazing! :)

    • Jessica Bruno March 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      The step by step tutorial will be up on the blog either tomorrow or Thursday :)

  22. Cari October 15, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Thanks for this! I just did my chair and it turned out pretty good. I used your tutorial the whole time, couldn’t have done it without you!

    • Jessica Bruno October 15, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      That is great! Glad the tutorial helped :)

  23. Stephanie November 25, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I am beyond impressed with the chair and would like to try with my grandmothers wingback. Do you have approximate dimensions of fabric cuts for each section and my chair has a separate pillow in the seat – did you cover the seat pillow separately ? Getting answers to these questions will help. Thanks! Stephanie

  24. Carli Wesley November 2, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    I’m sure you don’t check this far back anymore. I am just noticing on one post you said 4 yards on this you say 7 in the comments you say 7, 7.5, and 8 yards.

    • Jessica Bruno November 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Good catch! I just changed it to 7. I always tell people to order a little more in case they mess up. The post should have said 7 so thanks so much for telling me!

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